1 year after the M1 chip, Apple once again made a real difference in the IT industry
It was November 10, 2020, when Apple announced its first ARM-based chip designed for Macs. Months after it was confirmed that Macs would get Apple-made SoCs, the M1 chip was introduced with the promise of not only reinventing the Mac, but also changing the entire IT industry. A year later, it’s safe to say that Apple has managed to achieve this.
The Apple Silicon platform was showcased at WWDC 2020 in June, when Apple announced it was bringing the same tech from the iPhone and iPad to the Mac.
At the time, the company was offering a custom Mac mini with the A12Z Bionic chip to developers, who were already impressed with how macOS worked on an iPad chip. However, that wasn’t even the start of the next chapter in computer history.
Say goodbye to Intel
After years of shipping Mac computers with Intel processors, Apple realized it could no longer rely on an outdated, legacy platform. While customers want more compact and powerful computers, the old x86 architecture cannot adapt to this new scenario. Intel (or x86 processors in general) consume a lot of power and lose tremendous performance when under stress.
At the same time, mobile devices were already as fast as computers thanks to the ARM architecture, which is more efficient and consumes less power. While a device as thin and light as an iPad was capable of rendering 4K video effortlessly, Intel Macs struggled to handle more intensive tasks. In recent years, it has become clear that it is time to move the ARM architecture from mobile devices to computers.
M1 was born
The M1 chip was Apple’s promise to change everything we know about computers. With an 8-core processor, up to 8-core GPU, and a 5-nanometer design process, the M1 is a small but extremely capable chip that can do it all.
Apple has always made it clear that the M1 chip is designed for laptops like the MacBook Air, but the company thought it was so good that it quickly included it in the MacBook Pro, Mac mini, and even the MacBook Air. iMac. Apple was not wrong. Early tests have shown that Macs with the M1 chip are considerably faster than their Intel-based predecessors.
But performance alone isn’t everything, and the M1 is also extremely power efficient, as Apple promised laptops with up to 20 hours of battery life thanks to the new chip. If all of this were true, Apple would change computers forever.
it changes everything
It didn’t take long before everyone could see how good the M1 chip is – luckily I was one of the people who had this experience. I upgraded from an Intel MacBook Pro to a MacBook Air M1 and I have absolutely no regrets about my decision.
I upgraded from an Intel MacBook Pro to a MacBook Air M1 and I have absolutely no regrets about my decision. The power of the M1 chip puts it on par with high-end processors like the Intel Core i9, but this time in a 13-inch MacBook or an ultra-thin all-in-one desktop like the new iMac. It’s like having a super powerful computer in a small box.
Now, it is impossible not to think that my Intel MacBook Pro is an outdated machine. It’s not that fast, it heats up considerably, and the battery lasts no more than five hours. By comparison, my new MacBook Air can stay unplugged all day while I’m using it for heavy tasks.
The future of Apple Silicon Macs
More recently, Apple introduced the M1 Pro and M1 Max chips, which are variations of the M1 chip with a more powerful CPU and GPU. Impressively, the new chips allow the MacBook Pro 2021 to do better than a Mac Pro at certain tasks.
At this point, it’s impossible not to think of Apple Silicon chips as something that changed the computer industry. I am always amazed to see a desktop PC as compact as the new iMac, knowing that it is blazingly fast. If someone had told me a few years ago that we would have a MacBook as powerful as a Mac Pro, I probably wouldn’t believe it – and yet here we are.
The future is now extremely bright. Rumors suggest that Apple is working on another new Apple Silicon chip, this time for an updated version of the Mac Pro. This chip is expected to feature a processor of up to 40 cores with a GPU of up to 128 cores. If these rumors turn out to be true (and I think they will), it will be the end of the game for all of Apple’s competitors in the computer industry.
Just as the Macintosh and the iMac were important pieces in the history of computers, the M1 chip and the Apple Silicon platform made their way into the same book.